Review: Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill

Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill

wpid-51s4wprxe4l._sy344_bo1204203200_.jpg.jpegPublisher: Quercus
Publication date: 2nd July 2015
Buy Links: Amazon UK
Source: I have received this book via The Ninja Book Swap

Synopsis

frieda and isabel have been best friends their whole lives.

Now, aged sixteen and in their final year at the School, they expect to be selected as companions – wives to wealthy and powerful men. The alternative – life as a concubine – is too horrible to contemplate.

But as the intensity of the final year takes hold, the pressure to remain perfect becomes almost unbearable. isabel starts to self-destruct, putting her beauty – her only asset – in peril.

And then, the boy arrive, eager to choose a bride.

frieda must fight for her future – even if it means betraying the only friend, the only love, she has ever known…

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My thoughts

Wow – I don’t know where to start with writing my review on this… I found this a heavy book to read and finish, it took me longer than normal as I needed breaks in between to let the story sink in. It is a Dystopian, but most of it fits in the society we have right now when it comes to ‘beauty’.

The girls are bred to serve men in three different purposes, to be either a Companion, a Concubine or a Chastity. From the age of 4 they are put in a school, although sounds more like a prison, and they are being bred and have to follow rules to get them ready for their ceremony day when they turn 17. There are daily fights and struggles with food, calories, beauty and of course weight. They rank each other and always picks out each other flaws on a day to day basis and there are even special classes for it.
They don’t see any boys till a couple of months before their ceremony – these boys will choose an eve (the girls) for their liking and those women who are companions will bear as many sons as their womb can take them and then they get cast away when they are 40. When the boys are here you will have the weird ranking but then also done by the boys and you will have the ‘Heavenly Seventy’ where the girl is put in a closet with a boy who has chosen her.

It took me a little while to get into the story, because I wasn’t prepared for the shock of how it started. The situation for the girls starts of bad and gradually gets worse. And when you think it can’t get worse…. it will!

I loved reading about Isabel and Freida – note that all women names are written in lower case and not in capital because they don’t mean anything in life – they are worthless.
Such a shockingly honest book – one that will stay with me for a long time. I can definitely recommend this book to people, but there is a lot of worrying stuff in it about weight, food and vomiting…

Definitely go read this book and I can’t wait for Louise O’Neill’s next book which is coming out in September called: ‘Asking for it’. Another quite controversial read I think.

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Review: The Death House by Sarah Pinborough

TheDeathHouseThe Death House by Sarah Pinborough
Publisher: Gollancz
Release date: 26th February 2015
Buy links: Amazon UK
Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Toby’s life was perfectly normal… until it was unravelled by something as simple as a blood test.

Taken from his family, Toby now lives in the Death House: an out-of-time existence far from the modern world, where he, and the others who live there, are studied by Matron and her team of nurses. They’re looking for any sign of sickness. Any sign of their wards changing. Any sign that it’s time to take them to the sanatorium.

No one returns from the sanatorium.

Withdrawn from his house-mates and living in his memories of the past, Toby spends his days fighting his fear. But then a new arrival in the house shatters the fragile peace, and everything changes.

Because everybody dies. It’s how you choose to live that counts.

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My thoughts:

I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

When I received The Death House I wasn’t really sure what to expect, It sounded really mysterious and almost thriller like. The cover makes it sure looks like that as well.

What I didn’t know, but soon realised is that this is a Young Adult book. And I really enjoyed this story. The story reminded me of a boarding school and all the students are in a pattern of school, playtime and sleep. Although this is of course not a boarding school and the students aren’t healthy! Up to your 18th year your blood is being tested and if it is found to be ‘defective’ you are being send to a big manor house called: The Death House. The kids are there, nurses are there to look for signs of people getting ill and then you are silently taken away in the night to the Sanatorium. Everyone receives their ‘vitamins’ at night and therefore won’t wake up in the middle of the night when they hear things or will be crying in the night.

Now we meet Toby, Toby has decided from the very beginning to not take his ‘vitamins’ as he’s not silly and knows they are anything but. His nights are his and he knows what happens in the night when one of the kids has been taken ill. He knows what the routine is and what the sound of the lift is when they are taking another ill child. The house is seperated into dorms and each dorm look after their own. No mingling in, because what is the point really? Toby is the eldest and therefore the ‘leader’ of the dorm and can’t care much other than staying alive, keeping his dorm on the highest number of not ill, sleeping in the afternoon and feeling ‘free’ in the night.
Will and Louis has stolen my heart in this story, Will is so young and carefree and Louis is smart and they are best mates. Even Ashley, Tom, Jake, Daniel, Clara (of course) and the other girls Henriette and Eleanor all have a little place in my heart.

One day the house gets two new occupants, Tom and Clara. Clara is the new girl and everyone fawns over here except Toby. For Toby she’s just someone who is disturbing the peace, same with Tom. But Clara is also not taking her vitamins from day one and now is sharing the nights with Toby and of course they start to enjoy the nights together and exploring the house.

How Toby is slowly changing throughout the story and how all the little fun things really count really made my heart swell. There is always something worth living for.

I really enjoyed this story, it is mysterious. What does being defective means? What and where is the sanatorium, why are the nurses like this and the Matron, why does she makes certain decisions? I had way more questions and would love to have some more answers, but at the other hand I don’t. Keep the mysteriousness alive.
I am pretty sure people will be talking about this book for a long time. Some will love it and some will hate it. But for me it was a lovely enjoyable book with a bit of mystery thrown in. I have had a few tears and shared a few laughters and enjoying the really Young Adult feel of this book.

‘An exceptional, contemporary, heartbreaking novel’ That’s what on the back of the book and I completely agree with this.

Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: Raven (Chronicles of Steele #1) by Pauline Creeden

Raven

Raven by Pauline Creeden
(Chronicles of Steele #1)
Publication date: October 2014 28th
Genres: Fantasy, Steampunk, Young Adult
Purchase: Amazon USB&NAmazon UK 

Synopsis

This is the complete Steampunk Fantasy novel – all four parts of the serial in one volume! Also includes bonus features not found in the episodes ~

Human life has value.
The poor living in the gutter are as valuable as the rich living in a manor.
The scoundrel is no less valuable than the saint.
Because of this, every life a reaper takes must be redeemed.

Raven has lived by this first tenet since she was trained by her father to become a reaper. But since his death, she’s been spending years redeeming the lives she’s taken. By her count, she’s even and it’s time for that life to end. If she settles down and becomes a wife, she might just feel human again. But on the way to the life she thinks she wants, the baron of New Haven asks her to complete a task which she cannot ignore… Just when Raven decides to give up on her life as an assassin, she’s pulled right back in.

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Blog Tour, Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway: Aranya – Marc Secchia

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Welcome to the blog tour of Aranya! Today you can find on my blog the book info, a guest post (Sooo where did the biggest inspiration came from for writing Aranya?) and read all about the amazing author! Go check it out!!

AranyaKindleCover4-Final1000Aranya (Shapshifter Dragons #1) – Marc Secchia
Publication Date: June 12, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Synopsis

Chained to a rock and tossed off a cliff by her boyfriend, Aranya is executed for high treason against the Sylakian Empire. Falling a league into the deadly Cloudlands is not a fate she ever envisaged. But what if she did not die? What if she could spread her wings and fly?

Long ago, Dragons ruled the Island-World above the Cloudlands. But their Human slaves cast off the chains of Dragonish tyranny. Humans spread across the Islands in their flying Dragonships, colonising, building and warring. Now, the all-conquering Sylakians have defeated the last bastion of freedom–the Island-Kingdom of Immadia.

Evil has a new enemy. Aranya, Princess of Immadia. Dragon Shapeshifter.

Buy Links
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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Blog Tour & Review: Captivate Me – S.J. Pierce (+ Giveaway)

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Welcome to the blog tour of Captivate Me & Iris by S.J. Pierce. Today you can find my Review of Captivate Me, Book info on both Captivate Me and Iris, Author Info and of course the Giveaway!

Book & Author details

CAPTIVATE ME by S.J. Pierce
Publication date: April 1st 2014
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult

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